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3.8 out of 5 stars63
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Having already made one decent enough version of Dickens' perennial tale with Patrick Stewart, kings of the mini-series Hallmark took a second bite of the Christmas pudding with 2004's A Christmas Carol - The Musical, though it's the audience that's left with indigestion. It's not the first version to take liberties with the plot, this time replacing Scrooge's unhappy childhood with Dickens' own, but Lynn Ahrens' script is as messy as her lyrics and Alan Menken's music isn't always good enough to compensate for their banality (it's certainly not another Beauty and the Beast or Little Mermaid despite his involvement). But far more than turning the Ghost of Christmas Past into a scantily-clad Jane Krakowski pole-dancing around Scrooge's four-poster bed as part of a `reimagining' of the three spirits, the thing that really hobbles it is the colossal miscasting of the lead, with Kelsey Grammer's atrociously amateurish display of staggeringly bad overacting bidding fair to be the worst screen Ebenezer Scrooge ever, leaving the film with a huge hole in its heart. Arthur Allan Seidelman's uncertain direction and the poor editing of the already slightly under-rehearsed choreography do it few favors either, though somehow the power of the story does win through and some moments - generally the ones where Grammer is kept firmly on the sidelines out of harm's way - manage to work regardless. But you're still better off sticking to the Albert Finney musical version.

The only extra is a trailer.
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on 14 March 2010
Although this film was well made, it was a bit like an opera in that there was very little in the way of the spoken word and lots, and lots, and lots of singing. I like musicals, but I like a balance between the music and verbal interaction between characters. Certainly not my favourite 'A Christmas Carol' film.
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on 12 November 2010
Let me start by saying that I have seen numerous adaptations of "A Christmas Carol", and I have read the book, so I know the story inside out. This is, without a shadow of a doubt, the worst adaptation I have ever seen. I love musicals, but I could not get through this. I absolutely agree with all the other reviewers about the acting and the songs - both are terrible.

Even though it costs £2.99 (+ p&p), it is just not worth it, so take my advice and go for one of the better versions, such as "The Muppet Christmas Carol", "Scrooge (Albert Finney version)", "A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott version)" or "A Christmas Carol (Patrick Stewart version)" (I have not seen the Alistair Sim version, but I plan on watching it this Christmas).

EDIT: OK, I watched the Alastair Sim version last night, and it was brilliant!
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on 28 December 2008
This film seems to have really polarised opinion. It is light-hearted, schmaltzy, glitzy and yes with over-acting throughout. However, that sounds like what Xmas is about to me and I think if you're looking for a deep and meaningful film with a soundtrack from Lennon-McCartney, or even Benny and Bjorn, you will be disappointed - but if you just want some light entertainment (without over-analysing it) to just sit and watch together with the family, served with a large helping of 'cheese', then this is worth it for you.
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on 14 January 2006
This has got to be one of the worst films that I have ever seen. I am not even sure that I can bear to watch Kelsey Grammer in Frasier any more and that is one of my all time favourites. This is really Hollywood at its schmutziest, sugary worst. Think Oliver crossed with the Waltons but with even worse acting and music. The same phoney Cockney accents, a London so spruce and perfect that even today Londoner's wouldn't recognise it, let alone an inhabitant from the 19th Century East End. Dickens must be spinning in his grave!
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on 9 October 2014
Much more enjoyable than some would have you believe. Yes, there are better versions of Dickens' marvellous story, but this is breezy fun. Kelsey Grammer never disappoints and the score is excellent, and quite moving. I much prefer this musical version than the (for me) turgid Albert Finney musical, Scrooge. This will win no awards, but it's worth a visit every Christmas. I like it.
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on 30 January 2006
I've seen many movie adaptations of A Christmas Carol & this is by far the worst I have seen. I would have given it 0 Stars but thats not available.
1st off, I'm not a fan of Kelsey Grammer but this review is not biased against him at all as I love movies based on the festive season of Xmas, but I've never seen someone overact a role as badly as this ever! His hobbling walk, bent over back, squinted eyes were all over exagerrated to the point where about a 3rd of the way through I thought that because Kelsey was a comedy actor that this was perhaps a spoof!!.
Believe me by the end I wasnt laughing I can tell you!.
You can tell this a Hollywood adaptation as all the actors were lavishley dressed, Old London Town looked clean, rich & prosperous (inc Bob Cratchets house!), the ghost of Xmas past was scantily clad, & did I see Mr Bumble appear from Oliver Twist?
Finally Kelsey's make up seems to be non existent. Scrooge was a worn out man in his 50's/60's & did NOT have an orange Hollywood tan!
If you want to watch a typical Hollywood version & waste your time & money then go ahead. If you want to feel that Xmas glow inside of you then I suggest the following versions: "A Christmas Carol"(George C Scott), (Patrick Stewart), "Scrooge" (Alistair Sim), ((Albert Finney), "A Muppets Christmas Carol" (Michael Caine, Muppets etc).
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on 1 February 2014
We watched this on television without prior planning, so without any expectations. We both enjoyed this entertaining musical adaptation. We had no hesitation in sourcing a DVD copy to enjoy next Christmas. Excellent music, songs and acting.
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on 16 December 2009
As others have already stated - terrible. Kelsey Grammer starts off completely hunched over, walking with legs so far apart it's not natural and has extremely squinting eyes (very odd) but of course being 'nice and giving' heals all ailments, so by the end his eyes are huge and he's upright, dancing and carrying tiny tim around on his shoulders. Everything is clean and the streets, houses etc all huge - the cratchets have double beds for the children! (by the way, if you are going to watch this, look out for knitted character with Tiny Tim, finding that was the highlight of the film for us).
The film has no mood or atmosphere; Scrooge goes home from work while the streetlights are being lit - in bright sunlight(!) so must have fininshed work early afternoon (dont think sunlight got through to 'old London town' at all back then, especially not in the evening when he should've gone home). Oh, and that pole dance on Scrooge's bed by the 'ghost of christmas past' - what's that about! She's not wearing much and seems to be coming on to lucky old Ebenezer every time she looks at him. When the ghost of christmas present says 'this boy is ignorance' with a close-up of a cross-eyed boy, we found it hilarious not moving, and the ghost of christmas yet to be is a woman dressed all in white, smiling and expressing herself in mime and dance!
The British accents as you would expect are poor, performances are over the top but most of all has the most awful songs that last far too long and I LOVE musicals and operas and I love Kelsey Grammer, but this is sooooo bad. I've seen pretty much every version of A Christmas Carol as it's my favourite story ever, but this is the worst - only watched this one to the end because of a bet! Cant even say watch it for a laugh as you WILL turn it off. Please get a proper version with Alistair Simm if you can or Patrick Stewart, or for a musical version go for Michael Caine with the Muppets (which is brilliant by the way) or Albert Finnay; even Bill Murray in Scrooged captures the essence of Scrooge. All these versions finish perfectly - not as this one does making scrooge go from a bitter miser to an egotistical maniac singing 'if we save a few, let it all have to do with me'! Don't know what others were watching who gave this praise - do yourself a favour and AVOID.
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on 11 November 2004
This film is a must to watch, i remember seeing it at about 13 and falling in love with the concept of the film. Now at 25 i managed to track down a copy and found nothing had changed. Yes the acting isnt fantastic, but the scenery and the love story is very engaging
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